The TT was followed by a 109 km stage on a tough course. Lots of steep climbs and windy.
The first group of plus minus 7 riders went after 3km already and I had the feeling this might not be such a good day after all.
Attack after attack followed and more and more guys went clear without anyone chasing.
My job was easy though (on paper at least). I had to watch "Rider X" and go whenever he goes otherwise I'd stay put. Because rider X was sure to be in the group in front that didn't want to lose any time on the general classification.
There was a problem though. He loves attacking and he loves his big gear. So millions of attacks an riders were going off the front and he would just let them pass and then shift all the way to the right on the next climb/false flat and put in a huge attack that brought him back to the wanted group.
After following 6 such attacks I was on the limit. However we were close to the leading group now which was a lot more than 20 riders and luckily I had a teammate at hand who helped me get back on. This was on a long climb though and it took a lot out of me.
Coming onto the final circuit I was done. All the attacks the whole day had made me so weak that I just couldn't take it anymore. However I wasn't the only one.
In a long crosswind section the group split a million times but always came back on the first lap.
On the second lap somehow still managed to hold on, but coming onto the 3rd lap I got dropped in the crosswind.
About 2 groups of 12 were ahead of us and we had a group of maybe 10 that worked just to make it to the finish.
I lost a lot of time and fell down to 15th place on GC.
Bad bad bad day in the office. And there I was thinking Tour de Bretagne was hard...
|About to follow another brutal acceleration of rider X|
|Fighting on the circuit|